July-20 Washing your reusable mask

How frequently should you wash your Mask


Wearing a mask to cover your nose and mouth when you step out of your home is an essential safeguard against contracting Coronavirus infection. Different types of effective face masks are available, from N95 to surgical to reusable cloth masks. A simple homemade cloth mask is considered to be good enough for protection and is also economical and environment friendly.

However, an important question which arises is – ‘how often should you be washing your mask?’. The simplest answer is – ‘every time you remove it after wearing’. Once worn, the mask is subjected to your cough, sneezes or sprays while you speak and to external infection too. It is now soiled and should not be used again without washing.


Removing your mask

Carefully remove the mask by pulling the elastic or strings. Do not touch the front of the mask to pull it away, as this will bring your hands in contact with the virus, if present. Be careful to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth when taking off the mask. Put the mask away for wash. Sanitise/wash your hands immediately after.


Washing the mask

  1. If you have a filter in your mask, remove it and wash separately if it is washable. Also detach any elastics or bands that can be removed.
  2. Soak the mask in warm water and detergent for 10 minutes.
  3. Rinse the mask well in running water.
  4. You can again soak the mask in water with a few drops of disinfectant.
  5. Rinse gently and let it dry, in direct sun if possible.

Care to be taken

  1. Ensure that used masks are kept separately in a covered place till you wash them.
  2. If the mask is worn out, discard it only after washing to ensure there are no traces of virus in it.
  3. Do not discard a used mask irresponsibly. Put it in a garbage bag and place it in the dustbin with a cover.
  4. Washing the masks in machine may not be advisable as it increases the risk of spreading the virus.
  5. Store the masks in clean and dry place between washing and wearing.


Sources: www.rd.com/, www.businessinsider.in/, www.cbsnews.com/

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